Retail has been named a top priority for marketing at Microsoft, and what could be more effective and impactful than collaborating with the world’s number one retailer of PCs? Five hundred U.S. and one hundred Canadian Best Buy locations will be host to Microsoft’s “store within a store”. Concepts started to “open” last month, and the dedicated retail space will be hands-on, play, and explore marketing for Microsoft, generating a buzz for new products like the Surface tablet and Windows 8-based machines.
Microsoft has a mere 68 retail stores of their own, and while their products have long been sold at brick and mortar retailers, this marks the first time Microsoft products will be grouped together at another retailer, rather than being sold within the mix of their competition. As such, it is sure to create stronger brand presence.
Best Buy is also hoping to benefit from this new strategy, and to bring new life to their Microsoft product and software offering. This collaboration will mark Best Buy’s authority as a Microsoft retailer, and as a retailer constantly battling the effects of showrooming and online competitors, the store within a store creates a new reason for customers to come back to the brick and mortar space.
In this instance, we see innovation not through new products, but in a renewed relationship and business model that offers unique and practical benefits to their customers and a refreshing change for two retailers constantly fighting for their own competitive advantage.
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